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Office Hours

T 09:30 AM-12:00 PM
R 09:30 AM-12:00 PM

Born in Washington, D.C., I attended mostly Catholic schools and graduated with a B.A. from the George Washington University in American Studies, combining coursework in history, literature, art history, historic preservation, material culture, and museum studies.  The next few years included a graduate semester at Trinity College, Dublin and a stint as a paralegal.  I started my serious graduate work at Columbia University, where I received an M.A. in U.S. history, and was then recruited to the University of Southern California by Dr. Lois Banner, a pioneer in women’s history, where I received a Ph.D. in U.S. history and a Certificate in Gender Studies.  My dissertation asked why there were so many female film producers and directors in the silent era, and why they all seemed to disappear after World War I (hint:  Wall Street).  My teaching career began in Southern California as an adjunct, and my first full-time position was at Texas A&M: Corpus Christi. My family moved to the Capital District when I began teaching at Siena in 1998. I feel very fortunate to live in a historically rich area, and I have been involved in local museums and historic sites since we arrived.  Personal interests include running and, of course, visiting museums.

Degree Program University
Ph.D. University of Southern California
M.A. Columbia University
B.A. George Washington University

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

It is my job to meet students where they are in terms of skills, to help students to develop those skills, to help students get the most value from their academic experience at Siena, and to help students find their way to the next phase, whether it is a career or graduate school.  It is my job to stay on top of my field, and to keep my door and my mind open.  It is the student’s job to do the work, to be engaged inside and outside of the classroom, and to seize the many opportunities that Siena offers, from internships, to study abroad, to innovative programs. The great advantage of Siena is its size: I know students by name, and even if they are not history or American Studies majors, I am interested in helping them get to where they want to go. My favorite teaching moment is when a student suddenly recognizes the personal significance of something previously dismissed as unimportant, whether “trivial”  (advertising, film, art, fashion) or “irrelevant “ (academic theories, the experiences of peoples from another time, place, or social identity). I love the light bulb moment.

What I Love About Siena

I love the students at Siena, who are known for their courtesy.  I particularly like teaching first year students, who range from “I am not sure about this” to “I know exactly what I want and I am willing to work hard to get it.” I love the flexibility and breadth of courses that I can offer at Siena.  In addition to my position in the history department, I began directing the American Studies Program in 2001, and have served as co-director with Dr. Christiane Farnan (English) since 2007. American Studies allows me to teach in an interdisciplinary way, which is a good thing because my teaching interests include everything I studied since I entered college:  American culture, public history, business history, gender, film, and the workplace. American Studies allows me to incorporate literature, art, and public history, and draw from sociology, economics, and political science to consider the American experience from all angles.  

My Favorite Courses to Teach

Since I have the joy of teaching what I wish, my favorite courses are whatever I am teaching that semester.

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2017 - Now Director, Certificate in Public History Siena College
2014 - 2017 Chair, History Department Siena College
2012 - Now Professor of History Siena College
2007 - Now Co-Director, American Studies Program Siena College
2004 - 2012 Associate Professor, History Department Siena College
2001 - 2007 Director, American Studies Program Siena College
1998 - 2004 Assistant Professor, History Department Siena College
1996 - 1998 Assistant Professor, History Department Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi
1995 - 1996 Adjunct Professor California State University- Northridge
1993 - 1996 Assistant Professor California State University- Dominguez Hills
1990 - 1991 Adjunct Professor University of Southern California
1987 - 1993 Researcher Women in Film Foundation
1985 - 1989 Teaching Assistant University of Southern California

Current Research

I am interested in the intersection of gender, work, and culture.  Right now I am working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled “Corner Office.” It considers the role of masculinity as the corporate form and its human representative, the business executive, emerged and developed in the twentieth century.  In particular, I am trying to untangle the intellectual and cultural fusion of masculinity and capitalism that is evident in the tremendous difficulties still faced by women in the highest corporate ranks. To do so I am looking at corporate archives, business education, industrial psychology, health manuals for businessmen, etiquette books, and representations of business executives in film, fiction, and advertising.  Thus far two Siena students have conducted archival research with me on this project, and each has delivered part of a co-written academic paper, one at a national conference and one at an international conference.

 

Articles & Book Reviews

  • True Womanhood in Hollywood: Gendered Business Strategies and the Rise and Fall of the Woman Filmmaker, 1896 -1928
    Enterprise & Society
    2001

Awards & Distinctions

  •  A four-week interdisciplinary NEH summer institute for twenty-five college and university faculty to explore the changing definitions of property, June, 2014, in Poughkeepsie, New York, located in the Hudson River Valley.
    Category: Teaching
    National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, 2014
  • Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2011
  • Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2010
  • 2008-2009: Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2009
  • 2007 History Professor of the Year, Siena College History Club
    Category: Teaching
    Siena College History Club, 2007
  • 2004 Committee on Teaching Summer Pedagogy Fellowship and Pedagogy Assistant Grant for 'War Stories: The Siena College Veterans Oral History Project'
    Category: Other
    Committee on Teaching Summer Pedagogy Fellowship and Pedagogy Assistant Grant, 2004
  • 2002-2003: Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2003
  • 2001-2002: Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Finalist, Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2002
  • 1999-2000 Students with Disabilities Teaching Award (4/28/00)
    Category: Teaching
    Students with Disabilities Teaching Award, 2000
  • 2000 Committee on Teaching, Summer Research Fellowship
    Category: Teaching
    Committee on Teaching, 2000
  • 2000                   Committee on Teaching Summer Pedagogy Grant for 'The Meanings of
                American Patriotism,' with Paul Murray.
    Category: Teaching
    Committee on Teaching Summer Pedagogy Grant, 2000
  • 1996-1997 J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History.
    Category: Other
    J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History, 1997
  • 1997 Co-recipient, Lerner-Scott Prize (awarded by the Organization of
    American Historians for the best dissertation in U.S. Women's History.)
    Category: Other
    Organization of American Historians for the best dissertation in U.S. Women's History, 1997

Books & Book Chapters

  • Doing History An Introduction to the Historian's Craft, with Workbook Activities
    Oxford University Press
    2015
  • Doing History: An Introduction to the Historian's Craft, with Workbook Activities
    Oxford University Press
    2015
  • Doing History: An introduction to the HIstorian's Craft, with Workbook Activities
    Oxford University Press
    2015
  • The History Student's Handbook: A Guide to Historical Thinking, Research and Writing
    Oxford University Press
    2015
  • Women Film Pioneers Project
    Center for Digital Research and Scholarship
    2013
  • Women Film Pioneers Project
    Columbia University Press
    2013
  • Women Film Pioneers Project
    Columbia University Press
    2013
  • Classical Hollywood Reader
    Routledge
    2012
  • Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood
    Johns Hopkins University Press
    2006
  • Notable American Women
    Harvard University Press
    2004
  • Women in Business, ed. Mary Yeager
    Edward Elgar
    1999

Presentations

  • The Nineteenth Amendment Turns One Hundred: Its Impact and Legacy
    2019
    Organization of American Historians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • "Masculinity as a Business Strategy: The Growth of the Collar Industry in Troy, NY"
    March, 2016
    Business History Conference, Portland, Oregon
  • Tailor-Made: Menswear, Masculinity, and the Rise of the American Business Executive
    2014
    Capital District Feminist Studies Faculty Consortium, Loudonville, New York
  • I am Strong for the Fraternal Spirit': Masculinity and the Creation of an Executive Class
    May, 2013
    Economic & Business Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Definitely a Man's Man': Executive Culture at General Electric, 1945-1960
    March, 2013
    Business History Conference, Columbus, Ohio
  • 'The Fullback is a Lady: Sports, Gender, and Post-War Welfare Capitalism
    March, 2012
    Business History Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Business History Conference Annual Meeting
    January, 2012
    American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
  • Gender & the American Executive
    2011
    Association of Business Historians, Reading, United Kingdom
  • The American Cold War Executive: Gender & Corporate Culture at Mid-Century
    2011
    American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
  • The Cold War Hero in the Gray Flannel Suit: Masculinity & the Organization Man
    2011
    New York State Sociological Association Meeting, Loudonville, New York
  • Working Girls: The Masculinization of American Business in Film and Advice Literature in the 1920s
    2008
    Women & Silent Screen, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Questioning Patriotism and Other Taboos: Teaching Controversial Topics in the Post 9/11 Classroom (co-authored wtith Dr. Paul Murray)
    2006
    American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Oakland, California
  • Chair, Scholars Panel at 'Upstate New York Goes to War: War and the Home Front, 1775-2004
    2005
    Symposium at the Rensselaer County Historical Society, N/A, New York
  • Images And Film, 2
    2005
    Siena College WWII Conference, Loudonville, New York
  • Memory, Place, and Public Spaces
    2005
    Researching New York Conference, Albany, New York
  • Presenter, 'Bearing it All: Nudity, Censorship, and Privilege in Lois Weber's Hypocrites
    2004
    Organization of American Historians, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Presenter, 'Women Film Pioneers Workshop: Analytical Research' (by invitation)
    2004
    Women and the Silent Screen III Conference, Montreal, Canada
  • Women and Wartime I--Angels of Mercy and Allotment Annies
    2003
    Siena College WWII Conference, Loudonville, New York
  • American Women & World War II: Growth, Change, Anxiety
    2002
    WWII Conference, Siena College, Loudonville, New York
  • Cultural Politics
    2002
    Researching New York, 2002, Albany, New York
  • Presenter, 'Why Mary Pickford Wasn't Andrew Carnegie: Masculine Corporate Culture and the Female Star Producer, 1916-1923
    2002
    American Studies Association, Houston, Texas
  • The American Nexus: 'Realpolitik' and Literature
    2002
    WWII Conference, Siena College, Loudonville, New York
  • Visual Matters
    2002
    Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 'I Really Want to Direct...': Hollywood and the First Wave of Movie Star/Producers
    2001
    Economic & Business Historical Society, N/A, Unknown
  • The Politics of Contemporary Commemoration: The World War II Memorial
    2001
    WWII Conference, Siena College, Loudonville, New York
  • 'The Homefront: From Salvage to Salvation', 'The Second Great Fire of London: The Middle American Response'
    2000
    World War II Conference, Siena College, Loudonville, New York
  • American History Panel 'Defining Dreams: Popular Media and American Ideals, 1840-2000'
    2000
    Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Studies Association, N/A, Unknown
  • Exhibiting Women:   Gender, Showmanship, & the Professionalization of Film Exhibition in the United States, 1900-1930
    2000
    Society for Cinema Studies, N/A, Unknown
  • Revising the Neutrality Laws: Opinion, Public and Ethnic
    1999
    World War II Conference, Siena College, Loudonville, New York
  • 'Linked in True Fraternity': Associational Life in Early Hollywood and the Masculinization of American Filmmaking
    1997
    American Historical Association, N/A, Unknown
  • Media, Fashion, and Womanhood
    1996
    Western Association Of Women Historians, N/A, Unknown
  • Gendering the Studio: Women and Work in the American Film Industry, 1916-1928
    1995
    Western Association Of Women Historians, N/A, Unknown
  • When the Heroine Came to the Rescue: The First Serials and the Woman Filmmaker, 1912-1922
    1995
    Organization of American Historians, N/A, Unknown
  • Censoring Women: Censorship, Gender, And Control before the Motion Picture Code
    1994
    American Historical Association ( Pacific Coast Branch), N/A, Unknown